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J Biol Chem. 2010 Oct 8;285(41):31185-92. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.107805. Epub 2010 Aug 11.

Regulation of MRP2/ABCC2 and BSEP/ABCB11 expression in sandwich cultured human and rat hepatocytes exposed to inflammatory cytokines TNF-{alpha}, IL-6, and IL-1{beta}.

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From the Department of Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics, and Drug Metabolism, Pfizer Global Research and Development, Groton Laboratories, Pfizer Inc., Groton, Connecticut 06340.


In the present study MRP2/ABCC2 and BSEP/ABCB11 expression were investigated in sandwich cultured (SC) human and rat hepatocytes exposed to the proinflammatory cytokines. The investigation was also done in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated rats. In SC human hepatocytes, both absolute protein and mRNA levels of MRP2/ABCC2 were significantly down-regulated by TNF-α, IL-6, or IL-1β. In contrast to mRNA decrease, which was observed for BSEP/ABCB11, the protein amount was significantly increased by IL-6 or IL-1β. A discrepancy between the change in BSEP/ABCB11 mRNA and protein levels was encountered in SC human hepatocytes treated with proinflammatory cytokines. In SC rat hepatocytes, Mrp2/Abcc2 mRNA was down-regulated by TNF-α and IL-6, whereas the protein level was decreased by all three cytokines. Down-regulations of both Bsep/Abcb11 mRNA and protein levels were found in SC rat hepatocytes exposed to TNF-α or IL-1β. Administration of LPS triggered the release of the proinflammatory cytokines and caused the decrease of Mrp2/Abcc2 and Bsep/Abcb11 protein in liver at 24 h post-treatment; however, the Mrp2 and Bsep protein levels rebounded at 48 h post-LPS treatment. In total, our results indicate that proinflammatory cytokines regulate the expression of MRP2/Mrp2 and BSEP/Bsep and for the first time demonstrate the differential effects on BSEP/Bsep expression between SC human and rat hepatocytes. Furthermore, the agreement between transporter regulation in vitro in SC rat hepatocytes and in vivo in LPS-treated rats during the acute response phase demonstrates the utility of in vitro SC hepatocyte models for predicting in vivo effects.

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